Casual Gaming: An Untapped Market
At the first of the year, I wondered if 2007 or 2008 would be the year of the online game.
2007 is nearly gone, and not a peep out of anybody except the Casual Games Association, which says 150 million people play free, casual games online, outpacing game consoles, first-person shooter games, and massively multiplayer games.
And where there’s an audience that size, there’s a market.
Even better to marketers, a large chunk of the casual game (card and board games, puzzles and word games, trivia games, game shows, simulations and arcade-type action games) demographic is women over 30, in sharp contrast to the young male demo that dominates the other sectors.
Women in general make up 74 percent of the casual gaming market.
In sheer numbers, that’s about 60 million downloads monthly, and a projected total revenue in 2008 of $690 million in the North America, $1.5 billion worldwide.
By 2010, as I mentioned last time, in-game advertising money is expected to reach $1 billion.
So, we have a highly targetable demographic, a huge audience, higher access rates and speeds, and lots of income potential.
What else might help casual games take off? How about a social, user-generated aspect to it?
Venture Beat’s Chris Morrison reported something interesting about that:
"Norton says that in the future, players will begin to embed games on their own pages, whether that’s a Facebook profile or a personal webpage, and that casual games will become much more personalized."
Bingo and bammo.
I may have been a little early in my prediction, but it’s still looking good for the future.